Press Release

NEW POLLING: Outlining GOP Culture War Agenda Causes Loss of Trust Among Some Moderate Voters

Friday, May 13, 2022

More Americans Say Republicans Are Focusing on the “Wrong Things” Following Leaked Roe Decision 

Washington, D.C. — Today, Navigator Research released new polling that shows half of Americans believe Republicans are focused on the wrong things following the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade (a net 11-point shift from earlier this month). This shift was foreshadowed by a survey conducted earlier this month, in which nearly one in six respondents similarly shifted their opinion after reading examples of culture war policies supported by Republicans, including book bans, restricting abortion rights, punishing companies that disagree with their views, and more.

Groups that moved most significantly after reading these example policies were the same groups that shifted following the draft decision leak. In our survey fielded prior to the draft decision leak, a majority of moms (net +20) initially said that Republicans were focused on the right things, but following the leak, their perception moved negatively by a net 23 points. Women under the age of 55 saw an even greater net shift (29 points) toward believing Republicans were focused on the wrong things.

“The cultural and social policies being pushed by many Republicans are deeply unpopular with the majority of Americans — our polling following the Supreme Court leak on Roe punctuates that point,” said Bryan Bennett, Senior Director of Polling & Analytics at the Hub Project and Advisor to Navigator Research. “Republicans are focused on culture war issues like banning books over lowering costs for people struggling to pay the bills. Progressives need to point to that discrepancy and remind the public that the Republican Party is actively blocking a popular economic agenda from President Biden and Democrats in Congress while pushing deeply unfavorable and extreme positions on social issues.”

Among those who shifted their view of the Republican agenda after reading about Republican cultural and social policies, the strongest rebukes stem from statements referencing Republicans’ focus on banning books over bringing down costs for American families (81 percent say concerning) and Republicans controlling people’s choices rather than proposing real policy change (74 percent say concerning).

Although knowledge of Republican social policies shifts public opinion, our survey found that few people are well versed in the cultural and social policies being pushed by the party. Just 24 percent of people said they are hearing “a lot” about Republican attempts to ban books about subjects like racism and the Holocaust, and before the draft decision on Roe was made public, just 29 percent had heard “a lot” about Republicans pushing to overturn it (though in Navigator’s most recent survey, 36 percent have heard a lot about the draft decision).

Another issue impacted by the leaked draft decision is expanding the Supreme Court. Following the leak, support for expanding the Court beyond its current nine seats increased by double digits (net -5 to net +5).

Looking at a range of cultural and social news topics, our survey found that although respondents regard Disney more favorably (net +32) than Governor Ron DeSantis (net -4), the favorability for both is strongly correlated with party affiliation, with Fox News Republicans as both DeSantis’s staunchest supporters (net +76) and Disney’s staunchest opponents (net -20). A plurality oppose DeSantis’s attempts to punish Disney by revoking its special tax status (46 percent oppose – 35 percent support) and a majority (55 percent) are concerned that Republicans are the ones accusing Democrats of being focused on social issues while trying to cancel Disney.


About Navigator Research

The Navigator Research project is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates. By conducting research and providing reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press, Navigator helps top leaders in Washington and grassroots leaders around the country shape the debate on the issues that matter most. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

About The Studies

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 999 registered voters from April 28-May 2, 2022 and May 5-May 9, 2022. 101 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. Each survey included oversamples of approximately 100 Hispanic voters, 75 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, 100 African American voters, and 100 independent voters.These surveys were conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.1 percent.